Thursday, October 22, 2009

Teppanyaki Time

One of our favorite restaurants of all time is a Japanese Teppanyaki Steak House in Las Vegas that Matt and I heard about on the Discovery Channel. We drove out there for Valentine's Day weekend this year and ended up falling in love with the Teppanyaki style of Japanese cooking. The chef basically puts on a show for you, doing tricks with the food while you sit around your own individual grill (we had a group of 8 of us around our grill). It was quite the experience, and the whole meal in Las Vegas took a good 3-4 hours!

This past weekend, Matt and I decided to try one of the authentic Japanese Teppanyaki Steak Houses around here to compare, and we ended up at one of the most popular ones on the island called Four Seasons Teppanyaki. The atmosphere was fun and everyone got their own individual grill and chef per table, so Matt and I had ours all to ourselves. It felt like our own private show! Just like the restaurant in Las Vegas, it was a little pricey, but we got a few different courses and everything was prepared perfectly and was amazingly fresh. We had a salad course, which was the Japanese style salad that has more shredded cabbage in it than actual leafy lettuce. We also tried some soup of the day - Pumpkin. We didn't know what to expect with the pumpkin soup, but it turned out to be delicious - not too pumpkin-y at all! We also got fried potatoes, vegetables, pasta and rice along with our main courses: steak, shrimp and lobster. The steak was incredibly lean and tender, but it did have a slightly different taste to it than what we are used to in America. It was great, but just different. Of course, the service and presentation were both amazing, which is something I'm starting to love about Japan. So, how did it compare to our steak house in Las Vegas? The food was just as fresh, it was a little cheaper, and we didn't have to spend 3-4 hours on dinner. I liked that we got our own grill and chef, but we didn't get as much of a "show" put on for us - but that's Vegas for you!
Japanese salad

Pumpkin Soup

And now...

Things I learned in Japan Today:
1. Don't expect the waiter/waitress to ask for your drink order.
2. The wet napkins they give you before dinner are called Oshibori, and they are used to clean hands only.
3. You usually will not get free drink refills at a restaurant in Japan - this is mostly an American custom.
4. While we are used to only going up to the front of the restaurant to pay at cheaper places like Denny's, paying up at the front (rather than having your waiter/waitress ring you up) is customary in all types of restaurants in Japan.
5. Unlike in the US, it is completely normal for the waiter/waitress to bring out every one's entree's at different times - sometimes even 10-15 minutes difference. I don't think they have the custom of waiting for everyone to get their food before you begin eating - we're still not used to this!

Thanks for following!


  1. I should have read this on a full stomach! But then, that may not have helped. You made me crave pumpkin soup along with the cabbage salad. (Where can we go for dinner, Don?) And the beef looked so lean. Yum! What seems to be the drink of choice in Japan? Does the water taste familiar to what your used to? As always, another great blog, Cortnie! Love you both! xo

  2. Hi Leanne! The water here tastes normal, but in some places, much better tasting tap water than in America. They have a lot of different soft drinks than we do as well. 3 of my favorites that I've tried here so far are White Soda, Melon Soda, and Okinawan Lime. At this restaurant I think I had Okinawan Lime for the first time - really good:)